Indian craft has been widely accepted around the world as the epitome of creativity and has been applauded for the usage of indigenous materials. The patronage of tourists helps ensure that local crafts do not fade away, overtaken by commercialisation and mass production, giving the artisans a steady livelihood and maintaining age old traditional skills.

Here are three traditional Indian crafts to look out for on your travels:

Uttaranchal Stone Jewellery – If you are off from a trek in the lower Himalayas in the state of Uttaranchal, you cannot miss the bold jewellery of Garhwal. Stone and metal are the main components of these elaborate neck pieces and bangles, which are made by the local women of the villages making for unusual and conversation provoking souvineers.

Thanjavur Paintings in Tamil Nadu –The small town of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu is primarily known for a large temple made by the Chola Kings and paintings of the same name. Based on themes of divine sagas, the paintings date back to 1600 AD. The Thanjavur paintings undergo a complicated process involving wood, cloth, zinc oxide and adhesives. Decoration of jewellery in the painting is done with semi-precious stones and finally high-quality gold foil is used to ensure that the paintings last generations. They generally appreciate in value and are considered collectibles.

Aranmula Mirrors in Kerala – The Aranmula mirrors of Kerala as one of the most intriguing crafts of the statemade in the village of Aranmula. Very few households are still in the business of making this wonderful product which are the result of Kerala’s culture and history. The mirror, infact, has no glass element but is a heavily polished alloy which has reflective properties. The exact metals used in the alloy are unknown to the public and kept as a family secret, passed down through generations. The village is just off Alleppey and makes for an interesting day trip.

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Tanjore Paintings

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Aranmula mirrors

This post is a guest post by Mahindra Homestays  http://www.mahindrahomestays.com who have a selection of homestay accommodation throughout India. Mahindra Homestays strongly promote responsible tourism experiences which enable you to get closer to the real India and to experience and celebrate the country’s diverse natural and cultural heritage. http:// www.mahindrahomestays.com/homestay-experience/responsible-tourism

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